[click "Play" to listen to Tracy Shaffer's conversation with Michele Lowe]
by Tracy Shaffer
Denver Center Theatre Company is a staunch supporter of new plays, most evident in its commitment to the upcoming Colorado New Play Summit. Now in its sixth year, the CNPS not only gives selected and commissioned playwrights an opportunity to hear their plays read twice in one weekend, it throws its doors wide open to artistic freedom during a week of preparatory rehearsal. Writers, working with a director of their choosing and a cast of professional actors, have the luxury of changing, tweaking and sculpting their scripts in preparation for the weekend’s public readings.
One of the success stories of Denver Center’s mission is playwright Michele Lowe. Commissioned by the Center in ’07, Lowe brought forth Inana, to be read at the 2008 Summit and received its critically acclaimed world premiere production in Denver the following season. Inana went on to win the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the prestigious Francesca Primus Prize 2010. Along with her play, Victoria Musica, (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Inana, was a finalist for the 2010 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, making Lowe the first playwright in the 33 year history of the American Theatre Critics Association award to be independently nominated for two plays in the same season.
Michele Lowe returns to Denver with the debut of Map of Heaven, an intimate tale of truth and consequence, currently running in the Denver Center’s Ricketson Theatre. I spoke with this gifted golden girl about what makes the Colorado New Play Summit the place to be this week.